Day 19: Amarillo, Shamrock and Jeff, the Scarlet Pimpernell


Day 19: Amarillo, Shamrock and Jeff, the Scarlet Pimpernell

Jeff was in a hurry to get out of Amarillo this morning. No there were no criminal charges pending, he just likes an early start and he might be beginning to feel that magnetic pull toward home that often comes at the end of a trip. He’s been away a long time from his lovely wife Dianne. He wanted to see how far he could go today so we decided to go our own way and maybe we’d meet up somewhere. But he’s a hard man to find. For some reason I thought about the novel The Scarlet Pimpernel. Maybe you’ve read it?

Two quotes will suffice.

“The Scarlet Pimpernel, Mademoiselle,” he said at last “is the name of a humble English wayside flower; but it is also the name chosen to hide the identity of the best and bravest man in all the world, so that he may better succeed in accomplishing the noble task he has set himself to do.”

That’s our Jeff!

Today was not a great ride. The winds were horrible and though I’m getting used to them, you never really can, because they’re so unpredictable. These were mainly out of the south, 20-30 mph but gusting up to at least 40. The bike was tilted about 20 degrees into the wind most of the trip. My helmet was being slapped to the left. All the way from Amarillo to Oklahoma City. In general, riding a bike makes you confront your own mortality. Today, even more so. By the time I took a break in Shamrock Oklahoma I was punch drunk, slap happy.I had some Mexican food, talked to a man who had just come back from the Red River Rally(a Texas motorcycle rally) and chatted to the waitress. I wasn’t ready to get back on the bike and into the winds again.

I texted Jeff: “Where are you?”

“Checota for gas.”

Back on the bike. By the time I reached Henryetta OK. I had put in about 350 miles. I was glad to get off. I had been leaning so much on the bike that I walked around listing to starboard for a while.

I texted Jeff: “Where are you?”

“Just into Ft Smith.

We seek him here, we seek him there, Those Frenchies seek him everywhere. Is he in heaven? — Is he in hell? That damned, elusive Pimpernel”

Maybe I’ll find him tomorrow.

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